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Thread: new house, new to me pool

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    new house, new to me pool

    Hello everyone. I'm new here, but suspect I may be a regular soon. I come from a swimming pool family. My father and brother run a swimming pool construction company in South Texas, and I spent my high school years cleaning swimming pools for clients on a weekly basis. So I've got some experience, but quite frankly, it's been in my past for quite some time now, as I didn't stick to the family business.

    So, now I own a house in Troy IL that has an in ground octagon shaped 20'x30' vinyl liner pool that is 4 ft deep on each end, and 6ft in the center. I'm roughly calculating about 22,500 gallons of water. In 2007, the neighbor and previous owner built identical pools by the same builder at the same time, and presumably got some sort of deal. This builder sold them on a Pool Frog XL mineral/chlorine system. Both my neighbor and previous owner love the Frog, follow the exact same regimen, and think I should use it too now that I own one of the pools in the pair. However, neither of them own a water test kit of any kind, so I don't think they really know what they are talking about. On the other hand, whatever they having been doing must have worked ok, the pool looked nice, and in 8 years have only had 1 green pool between them.

    We bought the house in October, and the previous owner helped me close it. We followed his procedure with his chemicals because he already bought them and was giving them to me. We dumped in a bottle of polyquat 60, put 5 bags of shock in, and let the pump run for 24 hours before draining below the skimmer and putting the cover on.

    It's been getting warm here for a while, and the thought of opening was on my mind, but I thought "well it's still too cold to swim, so why worry?". I found this forum when researching the Pool Frog system, and decided with pool water temps of 65 degrees, I need to open this weekend.

    Before I found this site, I had told my neighbor to go to the pool company and get me whatever he was using, minus the chlorine pacs for the frog. I had a couple leftover from last year, and I had a feeling I could just buy tablets and shove them back in the bacpac, so I was going to do that. But after he had already gotten me $320 worth of mineral packs, algecide, metal removers, and "pool magic", I realized I don't want to stick with the Frog method forever.

    Now I'm debating whether to attempt to contact this pool company and try to get my money back on the mineral pack and anything else that I can, and just following the TFP method right from the beginning.

    The pool company's opening procedure says to remove the cover, clean out any debris, fill up the pool, get the pump and filter running, then add polyquat 60, 5 bags of shock, and run pump for 24 hours, then add metal magic.

    My thought is that I should remove cover, clean debris, get pump/filter running. I plan to test the water the night before (it's already nearly full enough from rain, I shouldn't have to add any water) and then once the pump is running I can shock and/or adjust ph as necessary.

    My question is whether I should use any of this stuff I got from the pool company, or just try to return it all and get better stuff elsewhere. The shock is a dichlor type that's going to add CYA. I have yet to test my water, and I may well need to raise my CYA, so using this stuff may be fine. But I won't know for sure yet until I test the water when I get my Taylor K2006 on Friday. So, if my CYA is low enough, is it safe to use this shock? Should I even be shocking it right off the bat if the water is already pretty clear?

    Regarding the mineral pack, I'm tempted to use it just to see what it does to the water, and run the Frog system as it was designed for a bit just to see how I like it and how my CYA levels go through a summer. Then maybe next year, I can skip the mineral pack and just run chlorine, and see how it compares. Is that worth my $150 I paid for this dang mineral pack? I see I could have save myself about $50 by getting one on doney's website, but even at that price it's still pretty costly. Plus, it seems to be like I wouldn't need a bottle of metal magic if I wasn't putting metal in my water with the mineral pack.

    And the polyquat 60 stuff...that seems to be useful at closing, but perhaps not at opening of the pool. Maybe I'll just keep my bottles of that in my supply room for the next year or two. It should stay good enough i assume, right?

    Thanks all, sorry for the long post, but I thought details were important.

    Pool Info:
    ~22,500 gallons
    IG Vinyl liner
    Sand filter - Pentair Tagelus TA60D
    Pentair Challenger CFII N1 1.5A
    Frog XL Mineral/Chlorinator - soon to gone probably
    Water source is hard water municipal and rain.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Well, I think you may already know .... you have a decision to make right? Either do what everyone else has been doing or break-away and follow TFP. But you probably know you can't have both, just like you can't follow pool store guidance and try to do TFP. It's good you have a test kit on its way so you an validate the levels on your own. You'll find TFP care to be much cheaper and fulfilling when you know YOU are in charge. We don't advocate any mineral systems because of ..... yes - metals. Some folks may have avoided it so far because of a shorter swim season and/or water exchange, I don't know. But it's a risk, and an expensive one apparently.

    If I were you, I would try to get as much money back as possible, save the Poly 60 for next winter, and just transition over to TFP. You'll find everything you need on this site, most of the important links below in my signature. Check us out, read some testimonials, and I think you'll see why TFP is a good choice. Let us know if you have any more questions.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Pat's right on. $320? Ouch. That's more than I spend in a year....

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to get the pool open without the mineral pack, just use the frog as a chlorine feeder, and use the TFP method otherwise.

    In other news, I got my test kit. The results concern me. CYA level is high, and the water is pretty acidic. I didn't even test chlorine, as I'm sure there is none in there after months under a cover.

    CYA > 100
    TA = 300ppm
    PH = 7.0 or lower possibly.

    What do you guys think? Am I going to have to drain and refill anyway? I kind of think that's what you're going to say, and I suspect the previous owner was on the verge of a disaster and didn't know it.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Am I going to have to drain and refill anyway?
    More than likely ... yes. But to help know better how much, you may want to do the dilution test method:
    Add pool water to bottom of sticker.
    Add tap water to top of sticker.
    Shake.
    Pour out half so mixture is to bottom of sticker.
    Add reagent to top of sticker.
    Shake.
    Test outside with back to sun and tube at waist level.
    Pour back and forth a few times to see if you get the same result.
    Double the result.

    That may help you pinpoint the CYA better since it's over 100. That will be your first step.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Step 1 complete! I did as you said, although I should have said I have a Taylor K 2006, so I had liner marks vs stickers. Anyway, I determined my CYA to be about 110 to 120. So, it's not way over the 100 mark I guess. I shall go dig around to see how this will change my next steps. But I'm thinking at the very least, I'm going to get some shock with no stabilizer.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Actually, the best thing to do at this point would be a partial water exchange. Many folks up north use tablets because of the relatively short season, but those tablets add stabilizer fast. A water exchange of about 50% would bring your CYA to the 50-60 range which is much more manageable. I would recommend doing that before adding anything else. Then brush-up on the Recommended Chemicals (link below) so you know the best products to use ands why.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    So.... Does that mean you got your pump up and running? You want to let it circulate at least a couple of hours before you test.

    Please do not use the tabs!!! They will increase your CYA.

    Wait until it's sunny out, like Pat suggested for the CYA retest.

    pH of 7.0 can be remedied easily. But first, let us know for sure that you circulated the water before testing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just read the recent posts. Shock with no stabilizer is liquid chlorine/bleach unless you use cal-hypo.

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    MarianParoo brings up a good point. No, my pump is not running. I should clarify, the pool is not open yet. I am planning to uncover tomorrow and get the pump running. I was hoping to know what I was dealing with ahead of time so that I could add chemicals to adjust shortly after taking the cover off and getting the pump running. Perhaps that wasn't the best idea.

    I really don't want to drain my pool halfway and redo it, so maybe if I turn my pump back on and let it run a while, I'll find better results? Or, possibly worse I guess. But if what you are saying is that my test results aren't accurate now, then I can't do much but wait and redo it and reassess the situation.

    So, if you were me, what would you do tomorrow? I assume get the cover off, clean up any leaves and whatnot, and get the pump and filter running at minimum. But I was planning hoping to adjust the TA and or PH levels and then shock it. Should I hold off on that until I figure out my CYA levels?

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Yes, you need to get it up and running and let it circulate well before you can get accurate test results. No worries. Why don't you do that and then let us know your test results. Then we can choose a course of action.
    BTW, were you able to return any of those purchases?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    I agree. Circulate for a couple hours then re-check CYA. Then you can make a better decision.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Thanks all. I plan to get the pool cover off and pump/filter running tomorrow morning so that by mid-day tomorrow I can retest the water and get some chemicals in place. I will report back here then, and see what you all say.

    Some other things of interest to note:
    I tested my tap water PH and TA. PH is 7.6, but TA is through the roof...I stopped adding drops to my test kit at 13, so it's at least 1300ppm. We have really hard water here, so I suspect that's why the TA is so high. And I have a feeling I'm going to need to adjust it in the pool, but we shall see once the pump gets running.

    Thank you all so much!

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Yikes!!! I assume you know that you made a typo? TA 130 (or more). We can fix that, no worries.

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    I realized after a shower tonight that I had tested water that had passed through our water softener. So that might account for the high TA. But the water softener is just exchanging Calcium for sodium, so I'm not sure that would change the TA anyway.

    Also, that 1300 number wasn't a typo, rather a mental math mistake. I was going by memory and though the instructions said to multiply but 100. Oops.

    Lastly, I forgot to answer your question about returning the chemicals and stuff...I haven't attempted to yet. I was going to see what the tests revealed about the water, and if my CYA level was low I was going to use the stuff I bought and just return the mineral pack and metal magic. However, if my CYA is as high as it seemed with my intial test, I don't think I'm even going to use the shock I bought, so I'll get a hold of them Monday and hope I can return it all. If nothing else, I'm hopeful they will take it in exchange for chemicals I can actually use.

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Okay. Just don't randomly add your on-hand chemicals until you have a better grasp on your pool chemistry and best-practice methods. If in doubt, just ask!

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Welcome to TFP and I hope you take the plunge with TFPC. If you really like learning it might be interesting to do both, but you'll get the cleanest, healthiest water with TFPC and all the great advice from the experts here.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    What a neat story with your Dad and bro in the business and you doing pool care in your youth. Then add to that the twin pools. So many side stories to be told!

    You are on the right track now. It will be very interesting to see how the numbers change with the water has had time to mix. Make sure to post your new test results as soon as you can. You can and should brush the pool. That will clean off the sides and bottom AND help mix the water faster.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Thanks Kimkats. Very neat indeed.

    I got the cover off this morning and the pump running. I brushed the sides and bottom up after getting any large debris out, and am letting the pump/filter run for a while before I retest the water. My hope is to test the water before dinner time, and maybe even add whatever chemicals are necessary before the day/night is over. But I will wait to see what the test results say, and what you all have to say. My gut tells me that CYA level is still going to be pretty high, and I'm going to have to drain and refill. But better now than mid summer I guess.

    Also, I talked to the pool company that my chemicals were bought from today, and they are cool with me returning everything since it has been unused. The only gotcha is that my neighbor put it on his credit card, so I'm going to have to either take his card with me, or figure something else out.

    Anyway, stay tuned! and thanks all!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    Will the sun still be out for your CYA test?

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    Re: new house, new to me pool

    I just did the CYA and TA tests again at 5:30pm in bright sunlight (with the light to my back).

    As I suspected, the numbers are worse. 140 CYA and 50ppm TA. Though now that I have my math correct that TA number isn't bad, so I guess CYA is all I need to worry about...which kind of sucks, I don't really want to deal with draining the pool and filling it back up out of my slow water hose. But I guess it could be worse.

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